Derby County are among a number of Championship clubs considering a summer move for Manchester City centre-forward Liam Delap according to reports…
That’s according to TEAMtalk, who claimed that Wayne Rooney’s side have joined the likes of Cardiff City, Middlesbrough and Stoke City, as well as Premier League strugglers West Bromwich Albion, in monitoring the situation of the 18-year-old striker ahead of a potential loan bid.
However, it is also reported that Manchester City are unsure as to whether they would be willing to let the promising forward leave the club, with Pep Guardiola recently confirming that Delap will be joining his first team squad as of next season.
Derby fans will not need it explaining that the attacking department is an area in need of much improvement in the summer transfer window as, so far this season, only Colin Kazim-Richards has scored more than three league goals for the club, with the 34-year-old bagging on eight occasions.
The other two centre-forwards in Rooney’s squad, Lee Gregory and Martyn Waghorn, each have three Championship goals to their name this season, and with the former only at Pride Park on a loan deal from Stoke, Waghorn is the prime candidate for Delap to replace at Derby.
So far this season, the Manchester City youngster has been in spectacular form for the club’s under-23 side, scoring 20 goals and registering four assists over his 18 appearances in the Premier League 2. That is in addition to three goals and one assist over three EFL Trophy fixtures, plus two goals in two games in the FA Youth Cup.
Admittedly, the Championship is a different kettle of fish from under-23 football, but judging from his returns at youth level, it is clear that Delap is ready to make the step to the next level – with football talent scout Jacek Kulig dubbing the youngster a “fantastic” talent.
Considering that the 18-year-old earns a modest £5,000-per-week in comparison to Waghorn’s £7,900 weekly wage, should Rooney be able to shift the 31-year-old this summer while also bringing in Delap, Derby would actually be saving themselves almost £3,000 a week by replacing the former Ipswich Town striker with the teenager.